Accra Workshop: Knowledge and capacity development in governance issues critical for addressing GEC impacts in Africa

A two-day workshop on governance dimensions of climate change in Africa was successfully concluded on the 24th of September in Accra, Ghana. The workshop was organized by the International START Secretariat in collaboration with the “Institute for Environmental and Sanitation Studies (IESS), University of Ghana, and the Earth Systems Governance (ESG) Project.

The fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change notes that Africa is exceptionally vulnerable to climate change and variability; and, that this is because of ‘multiple stresses’ that exacerbate the continent’s vulnerability to climatic risk. Governance bottlenecks are among these ‘stresses’; they are likely worsening, even possibly driving, Africa’s vulnerability to climate change. Nevertheless, there is a great deal about climate change in the African continent that we do not know and this is especially the case on the interface between governance dynamics and vulnerability to impacts of climate change in the region. The complex relationships among the different typologies, agents, scales and/or attributes of governance and vulnerability to climate change remain understudied.

The scoping workshop in Accra brought together 18 experts representing a diverse set of disciplines, experiences and countries to look into knowledge, capacity and networking needs related to governance dimensions of climate change in Africa using the ESG conceptual framework.

Students from the University of Ghana also participated in some of the sessions.

The workshop was highly interactive; participants collaboratively identified key issues related to the nexus between governance and climate change in Africa as well as the knowledge/research, capacity and networking needs related to this important nexus. Overall, the workshop underscored the centrality of efficient, transparent and equitable governance across scales, sectors and government goals for addressing the impacts of global environmental change (including climate change) in Africa.

The following are among major outcomes of the workshop:

  • Participants collaboratively developed a draft strategy paper on knowledge, capacity and networking needs in governance dimensions of climate change in Africa. The draft will be further developed with the goal in view of having it published as a peer reviewed journal article.
  • The workshop started off an Africa chapter of ESG, to be facilitated by START, IESS and the ESG project to create a platform for and sustain collaboration among African academics working on governance dimensions of climate change.
  • The workshop provided networking and knowledge sharing opportunities for all participants.

Proceedings of the workshop will be published soon.

Click here to download the program booklet.

For further information, please contact Senay Habtezion: shabtezion@start.org